Qualitative and quantitative comparison of glucose transport activity and glucose transporter concentration in plasma membranes from basal and insulin-stimulated rat adipose cells
Joost, H.G.; Weber, T.M.; Cushman, S.W.
Biochemical Journal 249(1): 155-161
ISSN/ISBN: 0264-6021 PMID: 3277616 DOI: 10.1042/bj2490155
Conditions are described which allow the isolation of rat adipose-cell plasma membranes retaining a large part of the stimulatory effect of insulin in intact cells. In these membranes, the magnitude of glucose-transport stimulation in response to insulin was compared with the concentration of transporters as measured with the cytochalasin-B-binding assay or by immunoblotting with an antiserum against the human erythrocyte glucose transporter. Further, the substrate- and temperature-dependencies of the basal and insulin-stimulated states were compared. Under carefully controlled homogenization conditions, insulin-treated adipose cells yielded plasma membranes with a glucose transport activity 10-15-fold higher than that in membranes from basal cells. Insulin increased the transport Vmax. (from 1,400 +/- 300 to 15,300 +/- 3,400 pmol/s per mg of protein; means +/- S.E.M.; assayed at 22 degrees C) without any significant change in Km (from 17.8 +/- 4.4 to 18.9 +/- 1.4 nM). Arrhenius plots of plasma-membrane transport exhibited a break at 21 degrees C, with a higher activation energy over the lower temperature range. The activation energy over the higher temperature range was significantly lower in membranes from basal than from insulin-stimulated cells [27.7 +/- 5.0 kJ/mol (6.6 +/- 1.2 kcal/mol) and 45.3 +/- 2.1 kJ/mol (10.8 +/- 0.5 kcal/mol) respectively], giving rise to a larger relative response to insulin when transport was assayed at 37 degrees C as compared with 22 degrees C. The stimulation of transport activity at 22 degrees C was fully accounted for by an increase in the concentration of transporters measured by cytochalasin B binding, if a 5% contamination of plasma membranes with low-density microsomes was assumed. However, this 10-fold stimulation of transport activity contrasted with an only 2-fold increase in transporter immunoreactivity in membranes from insulin-stimulated cells. These data suggest that, in addition to stimulating the translocation of glucose transporters to the plasma membrane, insulin appears to induce a structural or conformational change in the transporter, manifested in an altered activation energy for plasma-membrane transport and possibly in an altered immunoreactivity as assessed by Western blotting.